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Giving My All to You Sheryl Lister 2022/8/3 13:47:30

Brandon shook his head. “No shame in your game, I see.”

Malcolm shrugged. “I learned from my big brothers.”

“What’s up, good people?” Justin strolled over to where the other men were and they went through another round of greetings. “Are we playing Horse today, since there are five of us?”

“That’ll work,” Brandon said. “Although, if you miss as many shots as last time, you’ll be spelling horse and out of the game before we go around two times.” They all laughed.

“Ha-ha, funny. Just toss me the damn ball.”

“I think I’m gonna help my brother-in-law out today,” Khalil said. “I have to get back to the office, so you can play a little two-on-two. Go easy on him,” he added, causing the men to laugh harder. “It’s that married thing.” He shuddered.

Omar lifted a brow. “You have something against being married?”

“Hell, yeah. Too many beautiful ladies, so little time. I’ll check y’all later,” he called over his shoulder as he left.

Malcolm chuckled. “He does have a point. I say you married men team up and let us single brothers show you a little somethin’ somethin’.”

Brandon folded his arms. “Unless you’re scared.”

Justin and Omar shared a look, and Justin said, “Let’s go.”

In the first few minutes of the game, Brandon and Malcolm went up four to nothing. Brandon tossed the ball to Omar to take it out. “Guess it’s true that once you’re married you lose some of your skills.”

Omar passed the ball to Justin, who threw it up toward the basket where Omar dunked it. “On the contrary, we haven’t lost anything.”

The trash talking continued and Justin and Omar pulled ahead, needing one point to win. Justin laughed. “Looks like the married men are conducting the lessons today, right, Omar?”

“True that, my brother.”

“Quit talking and play ball,” Brandon groused.

“Gladly,” Omar said, dribbling the ball twice and sinking a shot from three-point range. He let out a whoop and he and Justin high-fived. “Guess we won’t be needing that consolation prize today.”

Justin laughed. “Maybe you two ought to try marriage…get rid of some of that aggression and tension. I can’t tell you how relaxed I’ve been since marrying Siobhan. There’s nothing like waking up beside that one special woman every day.”

Omar smiled and nodded. “Amen.”

Malcolm waved them off. “Whatever. I’ll pass.”

Brandon didn’t comment. Hearing Justin and Omar talk affectionately about their wives—not like he expected them to say anything less about his sisters—automatically made Brandon think of Faith. Why am I thinking about her? I am not looking to get married anytime soon. But he couldn’t help it. How was she managing with her injuries? Had she gotten another car? Was she eating enough? And would she let him kiss her again? His mind said he needed some space, especially after the unexpected sensations he’d felt when kissing her. He couldn’t get the feel of her kiss out of his mind and wanted to do it again, leisurely this time, until he got his fill.

Malcolm’s voice broke into his musings. “What?”

“I asked if you were coming with us to Omar’s parents’ restaurant for lunch.”

Brandon hesitated. “Nah, not today. I have something I need to take care of.” He met Justin’s knowing smile. “I’ll catch you guys next time.”

“Must be pretty important,” Justin said with a glint of amusement in his eyes as they headed for the showers.

“Yeah, something like that.” Justin had been the only person Brandon had mentioned Faith to in passing. Obviously, he had easily put two and two together. Brandon quickly showered, dressed and said his goodbyes.

He didn’t realize how much he wanted to see Faith until he caught himself nearly sprinting across the hotel’s parking lot to her room. What am I doing? He slowed to a walk, but the closer he got, the faster his heart raced with anticipation. He knocked and shoved his hands into his pockets to keep from hauling her into his arms as soon as she opened the door.